Caitlin McDermott (from left), Christy McDermott and Colin McDermott look for shark teeth on Folly Beach after it was closed to the public due to the coronavirus on Monday, March 23, 2020. Christy and Colin were in town helping their sister, Caitlin, a College of Charleston student, move back to their home state of Pennsylvania. Lauren Petracca/Staff By Lauren Petracca

SC - SC tourism leaders want visitors quarantined to slow COVID-19: ‘We don’t want them here’

The coronavirus outbreak has lawmakers in South Carolina’s coastal tourism areas calling for the unimaginable — telling visitors to stay home.

Leaders in the state’s top industry are asking Gov. Henry McMaster to issue an order to quarantining visitors for two weeks, a move that will surely hurt the revival of the nearly $24 billion business after the COVID-19 scare ends.

Myrtle Beach is taking unprecedented steps of closing hotels until May 1 and shutting down attractions, including its famous golf courses, starting Friday. And passengers arriving at Myrtle Beach’s airport from coronavirus hotspots, notably from New York, are being greeted with thermometers to have their temperature taken.

“We don’t want them here,” state Sen. Luke Rankin, R-Myrtle Beach, said. “Tourism officials want to avoid a longer effect on our season — by infecting locals and burdening our hospitals.”

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